Deadwood, South Dakota, has been a source of American legend for over one hundred years. European exploration, Indian wars, gold booms and busts, presidential visits, frontier shootouts, and the natural beauty of the surrounding Black Hills have all captured the imagination of Americans and foreigners. "Deadwood: The Golden Years" recreates the town that assimilated all that its geography, gold, natural disasters, and the extremes of human behaviour could throw in its way. Deadwood was a microcosm of the American frontier and the gold rush town. This history of Deadwood emphasizes its most volatile period, 1875-1925, with careful scrutiny of before and after. The author, a western historian and foremost raconteur, carefully separates legend from fact and presents them both: the spirit of Deadwood was real. Witty and sympathetic understanding born of a lifetime in the Black Hills and acquaintance with many of the characters who traipse through the pages give this book a comprehensiveness rarely found. It is a lively, reliable, and sometimes irreverent narrative of Deadwood - the next best thing to having lived there for the last century.
Watson Parker is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the author of Gold in the Black Hills and Black Hills Ghost Towns.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press